PETER HITCHENS: Has Sir Keir Starmer’s view on the monarchy really changed?

The truth about the Labour Party and its ferociously radical leader Sir Keir Starmer is so obvious that nobody sees it. This is why the recent revelation that the Blair creature himself was once a Trotskyist came and went without any response at all.

Nobody in the media wants to believe it, so they simply ignore it. Since the days of the Blairites, Labour has been a revolutionary party, crammed with people who long to get rid of the Monarchy but have more sense than to say so in public. 

An astonishing number of Blair’s Cabinet colleagues had deep past links with revolutionary sects. Now such ideas are embedded in a party that used to be based on working-class trade unionism and Methodist Christianity.

My advice is to take note of this now, rather than waiting to find out that it is true, just as it is true that Labour’s present leader, Keir Starmer was – as an adult – connected to a Marxist sect and its deeply radical magazine. But nobody wants to know.

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The truth about the Labour Party and its ferociously radical leader Sir Keir Starmer is so obvious that nobody sees it. This is why the recent revelation that the Blair creature himself was once a Trotskyist came and went without any response at all

The truth about the Labour Party and its ferociously radical leader Sir Keir Starmer is so obvious that nobody sees it. This is why the recent revelation that the Blair creature himself was once a Trotskyist came and went without any response at all

The truth about the Labour Party and its ferociously radical leader Sir Keir Starmer is so obvious that nobody sees it. This is why the recent revelation that the Blair creature himself was once a Trotskyist came and went without any response at all

Film emerged last week of Sir Keir saying he 'often used to propose the abolition of the Monarchy' (above)

Film emerged last week of Sir Keir saying he 'often used to propose the abolition of the Monarchy' (above)

Film emerged last week of Sir Keir saying he ‘often used to propose the abolition of the Monarchy’ (above)

This has been the genius of Blairism, to be miles to the Left of Jeremy Corbyn, but to persuade gullible media types that they are actually conservative.

So when film emerged last week of Sir Keir saying he ‘often used to propose the abolition of the Monarchy’, the main response (if there was any at all) was that it was a long time ago. 

So what? Has he really changed his mind, or just his image? In fact, the only way to find out what such people think is often to check what they said before the spin doctors cleaned up their pasts for them. 

The truth is that New Labour, crammed as it is with 'ex' Marxists, loathes the Monarchy and yearns to get rid of it. It rightly sees public respect for the Crown as an obstacle to the complete power it seeks. (Above, the Queen and Prince Philip last June)

The truth is that New Labour, crammed as it is with 'ex' Marxists, loathes the Monarchy and yearns to get rid of it. It rightly sees public respect for the Crown as an obstacle to the complete power it seeks. (Above, the Queen and Prince Philip last June)

The truth is that New Labour, crammed as it is with ‘ex’ Marxists, loathes the Monarchy and yearns to get rid of it. It rightly sees public respect for the Crown as an obstacle to the complete power it seeks. (Above, the Queen and Prince Philip last June)

In 2014, Starmer accepted a knighthood as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) and was invested in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles

In 2014, Starmer accepted a knighthood as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) and was invested in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles

In 2014, Starmer accepted a knighthood as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) and was invested in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles

Remember Blair’s attempt to deny that he had once been a nuclear disarmer, until documents proved beyond doubt that he had been? 

So why did he pretend so hard that the facts were not true? Because it still said something important about his real politics, which he wished to conceal from the voters.

Last week it also emerged that Sir Keir’s party had been seeking advice from the hidden persuaders of marketing, who told them to ‘make use’ of the flag, veterans and dressing smartly, to win back the trust of working-class voters. 

I’m sure these cynics will follow this advice. They understand that they will come to power only by pretending to be someone else, and they are not ashamed to do so.

I’ll never forget the day in May 1997 when Labour Party workers were shepherded into Downing Street and ordered to wave Union Jacks (a flag which most of them hated) while the Blair creature made his triumphal approach to the door of No 10.

The genius of Blairism has been to be miles to the Left of Jeremy Corbyn, but to persuade gullible media types that they are actually conservative

The genius of Blairism has been to be miles to the Left of Jeremy Corbyn, but to persuade gullible media types that they are actually conservative

The genius of Blairism has been to be miles to the Left of Jeremy Corbyn, but to persuade gullible media types that they are actually conservative

The thing was an obvious phoney, as normal human beings haven’t been allowed into fenced-off Downing Street for decades. 

But as phoney tricks so often do, it worked. TV news programmes fell for it, and clips of this falsehood still turn up all the time, without any health warning, in historical documentaries.

The truth is that New Labour, crammed as it is with ‘ex’ Marxists, loathes the Monarchy and yearns to get rid of it. It rightly sees public respect for the Crown as an obstacle to the complete power it seeks. 

It wants the adoring crowds, the grandeur and the ceremony for itself. But it knows it will never win an election if it says so. So it waves the flag, accepts the knighthoods, and waits for its time to come.

How sad to see Northern Ireland sink still further into the miserable swamp that lies between the surrender to the IRA, which we made in 1998, and the eventual handover of the province to Dublin rule, which is the inevitable end of all this.

The trade border in the Irish Sea is one of the most extraordinary shrinkages of British sovereignty I have ever seen, yet we are supposed to admire the agreement that led to it. 

How I wish we had done as I urged, and taken the Norway option. This humiliation, at least, would not then have happened.

Where did they Dig up Lily’s role?

How I looked forward to watching The Dig, a new British film based on a novel I’d quite enjoyed about one of the most enthralling events of our time. 

This was the uncovering in 1939 of an Anglo-Saxon burial site, crammed with thrilling relics of a mysterious past. 

If you have not seen the discoveries of Sutton Hoo at the British Museum, try to do so as soon as you can, because they will astonish you and then haunt you.

How I looked forward to watching The Dig, a new British film based on a novel I'd quite enjoyed about one of the most enthralling events of our time. The job of the character played by Lily James (above), a woman archaeologist, was to be the good, liberated modern character, an ambassador from 2021 among the ignorant, crabby relics of long ago. Yet the actual records show that women were prominent and respected in archaeology at the time

How I looked forward to watching The Dig, a new British film based on a novel I'd quite enjoyed about one of the most enthralling events of our time. The job of the character played by Lily James (above), a woman archaeologist, was to be the good, liberated modern character, an ambassador from 2021 among the ignorant, crabby relics of long ago. Yet the actual records show that women were prominent and respected in archaeology at the time

How I looked forward to watching The Dig, a new British film based on a novel I’d quite enjoyed about one of the most enthralling events of our time. The job of the character played by Lily James (above), a woman archaeologist, was to be the good, liberated modern character, an ambassador from 2021 among the ignorant, crabby relics of long ago. Yet the actual records show that women were prominent and respected in archaeology at the time

How disappointed I was. For a fee of, say, 30 shillings, I could have told the makers that ‘lemon drizzle cake’ and the Sunday Mirror did not exist in 1939. 

I could have told them that English people in 1939 did not say ‘Wow!’ Nor did they shout ‘For Christ’s sake!’ because they had missed a ferryboat. 

As for the character played by Lily James, a woman archaeologist, her job (there’s one in almost all such dramas) was to be the good, liberated modern character, an ambassador from 2021 among the ignorant, crabby relics of long ago. 

Yet the actual records show that women were prominent and respected in archaeology at the time.

The past was different, to be sure. But it was not a dark age.

Putin is a tyrant, but his rival is no saint…

Why do we seek so often to reform other people’s countries, while making such a mess of our own? Is it because we don’t think very hard about either? 

I watched in despair the applause for the Arab Spring, especially in Cairo, where the ‘freedom demonstrators’ were often nasty antisemites, and the outcome was bound to be an Islamist regime. This duly followed, as did a savage and gory military coup which it’s not polite to mention.

Now the West likes to despise Russia’s sinister tyrant Vladimir Putin. But who do they think will replace him? Before him, we had Boris Yeltsin, who (everyone now forgets) called up tanks to shell his own parliament. 

The West likes to despise Russia's sinister tyrant Vladimir Putin. But who do they think will replace him?

The West likes to despise Russia's sinister tyrant Vladimir Putin. But who do they think will replace him?

The West likes to despise Russia’s sinister tyrant Vladimir Putin. But who do they think will replace him?

Yeltsin, having come to power on a pretence of hating corruption, was so corrupt it shocked even Russians, who, shall we say, are no strangers to corruption. While I was living there you could do hardly anything without a bribe.

And now we are supposed to admire ‘opposition leader’ Alexei Navalny. Yet the very people who promote Navalny would shy away from any Western figure who had his record of militant nationalism and bigotry. 

He has appeared at rallies next to skinheads. He once took part in a video where he appeared to compare people from the Caucasian regions, often unpopular with ethnic Russians, to cockroaches. 

Now we are supposed to admire 'opposition leader' Alexei Navalny. Yet the very people who promote Navalny would shy away from any Western figure who had his record of militant nationalism and bigotry

Now we are supposed to admire 'opposition leader' Alexei Navalny. Yet the very people who promote Navalny would shy away from any Western figure who had his record of militant nationalism and bigotry

Now we are supposed to admire ‘opposition leader’ Alexei Navalny. Yet the very people who promote Navalny would shy away from any Western figure who had his record of militant nationalism and bigotry

While cockroaches can be killed with a slipper, he said, for humans he recommended a pistol. His defenders dismiss this a joke. Well, maybe. 

He has also spoken in favour of Russia’s repossession of the Crimea, saying ‘the reality is that Crimea is now part of Russia… Crimea is ours’ – a view I think reasonable, but which is hated by the BBC and liberal types who currently laud him.

I have my own view on Russia’s miseries, which is that you cannot immediately recover from nearly 75 years of Marxist terror and stupidity, and that the West did little to help when Communism fell. 

But I also think that we rage against poor, weak Russia mainly because we are scared to take on rich, strong China. If President Putin is overthrown by Navalny or someone like him, we may come to wish for the devil we knew.

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